Six line wrasses are small, but these hardies can be unpredictable in certain situations.
So, are they aggressive?
The Aggression of Six Line Wrasses
Six line wrasses are aggressive fish that shouldn’t be housed with similar fish or other peaceful wrasse species. Although they are considered community fish for large marine aquariums, you must house them with only those tankmates that can match their aggression and energy.
Let’s understand more in detail why six line wrasses are aggressive.
4 Reasons Why Six Line Wrasses Are Aggressive
Six line wrasses can be highly territorial and display aggressive behavior toward tankmates.
So, it’s essential to understand the factors that tend to make these fish aggressive.
Given below are some factors that can trigger aggressive behavior in six line wrasses.
1. Incompatible Tankmates
Six line wrasses are generally peaceful. These colorful fish are a popular choice for marine aquariums.
However, these fish become incredibly aggressive and territorial when kept with their own species or with other smaller peaceful wrasses and tiny invertebrates.
Six line wrasses are also often aggressive and will bully timid fish, even those much bigger than them.
So be careful while selecting tankmates for six line wrasses.
2. Inadequate Food
Every fish species needs to be fed as per its dietary requirements.
This ensures proper nutrition, which is essential for good health and longevity.
Six line wrasses are carnivorous fish that need a meat-based diet.
Inadequate feeding can trigger aggressive behavior in six line wrasses.
These active fish are also very aggressive during feeding hours and can easily outcompete their timid and slow-moving tankmates.
3. Small Tank
Many aquarists fail to understand the needs of six line wrasses. As these fish are small, aquarists try to house them in small tanks.
A six line wrasse lives in a reef environment in its natural habitat.
These fish graze around the coral and live rocks, eating snails and other parasites.
So a small-sized tank can restrict their movements and make these wrasses aggressive.
They also become territorial and begin attacking other fish in the absence of sufficient space.
4. Unsuitable Tank Environment
In the wild, six line wrasses inhabit the coral reef environments.
Therefore, they need similar conditions in the tank that mimic their natural habitat.
Besides the reef branches, these fish also need live rocks inside their reef tank.
It allows them to graze on the parasites that occupy them and gives them shelter or a place to hide.
In the absence of suitable hiding places and open swimming areas similar to their natural habitat, these active fish can develop aggressive tendencies and indulge in bullying peaceful tankmates.
How to Handle the Aggression of Six Line Wrasses?
Six line wrasses can be peaceful toward other tankmates.
However, it’s important not to overlook their behavior as they’re known to be hostile and aggressive toward other fish.
Given below are four ways to handle the aggression of six line wrasses.
1. Compatible Tankmates
Six line wrasses are attractive fish that liven up a saltwater aquarium.
However, finding suitable tankmates for these wrasses is crucial.
These active fish have tremendous energy levels.
So they must be kept with tankmates that can match their swimming ability and aggression.
Marine reef species like tangs, angelfish, and damsel fish are an excellent choice as these fish can hold their ground against the aggressive six line wrasses.
2. Proper Feeding
Six line wrasses are carnivores that primarily feed on meat-based food in the wild.
They’re opportunistic scavengers that forage on small crustaceans in the coral reefs.
So feed your wrasse a protein-rich diet like brine shrimp or mysis shrimp.
Commercial fish pellets, flakes, and finely diced fresh or frozen shrimp can also help to diversify their diet.
Feed these wrasses twice daily, giving them enough food that they can consume within two to three minutes.
Don’t overfeed as it can adversely affect their health and the water quality.
3. Large Tank Size
Six line wrasses are small-sized saltwater fish.
However, these energetic fish are active swimmers that continuously move around the tank.
So decide the tank size depending on the number of fish you want to keep in your aquarium.
Large tanks are beneficial as they provide ample swimming space and reduce the interaction between the tankmates.
4. Proper Tank Layout
A tank layout replicating the natural habitat of six line wrasses will make them feel secure and comfortable.
This will reduce their stress, and a stress-free fish will behave peacefully with other tank inhabitants.
Slow-moving water is best for these small fish because they need calm conditions.
Too much turbulence can stress them. Also, use a tight, sturdy lid to keep them from jumping out of the tank.
Using a sand bed substrate will also replicate the rocky reef environment of their natural habitat.
Keeping live rocks, driftwood, and caves can help them to graze and create a hiding place inside the tank.
Can You Keep Six Line Wrasses in Community Aquariums?
Six line wrasses are often kept in community aquariums for their bright color and stunning appearance. They’re the most popular choice among aquarists compared to other wrasse species.
However, keeping multiple six line wrasses together isn’t recommended as they display aggression toward each other.
But you can keep a pair together to diffuse aggression.
Six line wrasses also shouldn’t be housed with other smaller and more peaceful wrasses.
They can become highly aggressive and bully the docile wrasse species.
The ideal tankmates for six line wrasses are reef-safe fish that are semi-aggressive.
Such fish species can easily hold their ground when bullied by a six line wrasse.
So you can keep six line wrasses in a community aquarium with angelfish, butterflyfish, tangs, large clownfish, pufferfish, banana wrasses, and dragon wrasses.